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Last Updated: October 19, 2020 6 hours ago

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  • India ranks 94 out of 107 nations on the Global Hunger Index 2020

    6 hours ago
    India took place 94th place among 107 nations in the Global Hunger Index 2020 and is in the 'serious' hunger category with experts blaming low implementation processes, lack of effective monitoring, siloed approach in tackling malnutrition and poor performance by large states behind the low ranking. Highlights: ♦ In 2019, India's rank was 102 out of 117 countries. ♦ The neighbouring countries, Bangladesh ranked 75th, Myanmar ranked 78th and Pakistan ranked 88th is in the 'serious' hunger category. ♦ Nepal took 73rd and Sri Lanka in 64th position are in 'moderate' hunger category. ♦ 17 nations, including China, Belarus, Turkey, Cuba, Ukraine,  and Kuwait, shared the top rank with GHI scores.  ♦ According to the report, 14% of India's population is undernourished. ♦ The country recorded a 37.4% stunting rate among children under five and a wasting rate of 17.3 %. The under-five mortality rate is at 3.7 %. ♦ The large states like Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Madhya Pradesh need to be improved because the national average is affected a lot by these states. ♦  GHI score is calculated on four indicators              1. Undernourishment;               2. Child Wasting=children under the age of five who have low weight for their height reflecting acute undernutrition;               3. Child Stunting = children under the age of five those have low height for their age reflecting chronic undernutrition.              4. child mortality = mortality rate of children under the age of five. 

    MISSION SHAKTI Launched by UP Government

    6 hours ago
    Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath issues directions for including Bhojpuri, Bundelkhand dialects in helplines. Highlights: ♦ Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath directed that the facility of speaking in Bhojpuri and Bundelkhand should be made available on various helpline numbers, observing that women would feel more comfortable communicating in regional dialects. ♦ The second day of Mission Shakti, is to interact with women village pradhans, BDC members, corporators, heads of urban local bodies, self-help groups and women teachers, through virtual mo ♦ The helpline numbers such as 1090, 181, 1076 and 112 should be publicised. ♦ The pradhan of Ratsar Kala Garhwar village in Ballia, said that there should be a facility of speaking Bhojpuri and Bundelkhand dialects on helpline numbers such as 1090, 112, 181. ♦ This will help the women to feel comfortable speaking in their regional dialect. ♦ There is a need to teach the feeling 'gaanvkibeti, sabkibeti'. ♦ These are our culture and values, and this should reverberate from villages to cites.  ♦ The Centre and state government are making consistent efforts to ensure women security and honour, but the real success will be achieved by cooperation and awareness of women. ♦ If the public representative is not aware, then the schemes fall prey to corruption.

    CSIR-CMERI develops Sustainable Municipal Solid Waste Processing Facility

    12 hours ago
    The Central Mechanical Engineering Research Institute (CMERI) under Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) has developed a Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) Processing Facility that has helped in achieving decentralised decimation of solid wastes. Highlights: ♦ The critical focus of CSIR-CMERI is to unburden the typical households from the segregation responsibilities through advanced segregation techniques. The bio-digestion process adopted has minimum pollution factor. ♦ The MSW facility has been equipped with unique capabilities to make it easy with a diverse range of waste including masks, sanitary napkins, diapers etc.  ♦ The MSW facility has been with unique disinfection capabilities to help break the COVID chain through UV-C lights and hot-air convection methods. ♦ The equipment can be worked with optimum energy sufficiency by adding solar energy technology which can also feed the surplus Energy Supply onto a Mini-Grid. ♦ Decentralised Waste Management technology developed by CSIR-CMERI can result in a drastic reduction of expenditure related to Transportation Logistics and can help reductions in CO2 emissions, by reducing fossil fuel usage. ♦ The Scientifically Decentralised Waste Processing Hubs will help multiply outreach for various locations and will also boost the manufacturing potential for the residents of the region.  

    PFC and JKPCL signs agreement for Liquidity Infusion for Jammu and Kashmir UT

    2 days ago
    Government-owned Power Finance Corporation Ltd (PFC), India's leading NBFC, has sanctioned Rs.2790 crore to Jammu Kashmir Power Corporation ltd (JKPCL) for clearing its outstanding dues. Highlights: ♦ PFC and JKPCL signed and exchanged an agreement for Liquidity Infusion Scheme under "Aatmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyaan" for the Jammu and Kashmir Union Territory.  ♦ The money sanctioned under the scheme will be used to clear the outstanding dues of CPSU, GENCOs & TRANSCOs, IPPs and RE Generators on March 31 2020. ♦ The exchange agreement was signed in the presence of Shri RohitKansal, Principal Secretary, PDDalong with senior officers from JKPDD, KPDCL, JPDCL, PFC & REC. ♦ In May, the Government announced an Rs.90,000 crore liquidity infusion for discoms under which these utilities would get loans at economical rates from PFC and REC.  ♦ This scheme was an initiative of the Government to help gencos to remain afloat. Later, the liquidity infusion package was increased to Rs.1.2 lakh crore.

    India Hosts Virtual Summit of Ministers of Justice of Shanghai Cooperation Organisation

    2 days ago
    The Seventh Meeting of Ministers of Justice of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) Shri Ravi Shankar Prasad hosted the Member States, Minister of Law & Justice, Communication and Electronics & Information Technology on October 16, 2020.  Highlights: ♦ India today hosted the virtual Summit of Ministers of Justice of Shanghai Cooperation Organisation, SCO. ♦ The summit highlighted the initiatives taken by the Indian Government for providing affordable and easy access to justice for all and also about Pro Bono Legal Services to provide free legal aid to marginalized sections of the society. ♦ During COVID19 pandemic over 25 lakhs hearings have taken place through video conference at various courts of India, out of which nine thousand virtual hearings took place at the Supreme Court alone. ♦ As part of activities of Justice Ministers' Forum, the Minister urged the SCO Member States to promote an exchange of ideas, best practices and experiences in identified areas through the platform. He also stressed on widening the spectrum of activities being undertaken in the Forum. ♦ The Seventh Session of the Ministers of Justice of the SCO Member States deliberated on areas of cooperation emphasized the high relevance of mutual exchange of legal information. ♦ And on counteraction to the spread of the pandemic & acknowledged the need for collaboration in ADR mechanism area, among others.   ♦ Joint Statement following the Results of the Seventh Session of the Ministers of Justice of the SCO Member States was also adopted.

    Narendra Singh Tomar Inaugurated Food and Agri Week 2020

    2 days ago
    Union Minister, Narendra Singh Tomar, the Food Processing Industries Minister on October 16, 2020, inaugurated the India-International Food &Agri Week virtually. The focus of the Food and Agro Tech will be on the use and benefit of the technology in the field of food and agriculture sector. India - International Food & Agri Week is being organized from 16th to October 22 2020. CII in association with the Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers' Welfare, Ministry of Fisheries & Animal Husbandry and Ministry of Food Processing Industries, Government of India, is organizing its first-ever Virtual CII Agro & Food Tech: India - International Food &Agri on CII HIVE – virtual platform with an intent to create a platform for the benefit of the stakeholders involved in the agriculture & allied sectors.    Highlights ♦ As per Govt. data, Indian food processing sector is 32% of India's food market.  ♦ The focus of the Food & Agro Tech will be on the use and benefit of the technology in the field of food and agriculture sector to increase the income of the farmers. ♦ The focus of this sector is in the line of the goal set by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to double the payment of the farmers by 2022. ♦ Proper marketing and the latest technology can lead to more significant development of the agriculture sector.  ♦ The GDP growth rate in Agriculture is 3.4%, and this sector has contributed hugely to India's economic growth even during Covid times.  ♦ MoFPI has started an awareness campaign named 'Anna Devo Bhava'to mark this occasion. ♦ The celebration aims in increasing awareness about the value of the food and also focus on reducing food wastage ♦ Under AatmaNirbhar Bharat Abhiyan, MoFPI has started PMFME (PM Formalisation of Micro food Enterprises) scheme with an outlay of Rs 20,000 crores. This scheme will support 2 lakh micro food processing units with credit-linked subsidy and would focus on supporting the SHGs, FPOs and cottage industry. ♦ The 14th edition of the Agro and Food Tech is an appropriate platform to showcase the products, services and technology available in the agriculture and related sectors.  PM Kisan Sampada Scheme:        MoFPI started PM KisanSampada Scheme (PMKSY) for modern infrastructure with efficient supply chain management from farm gate to retail outlets. MFP scheme is an essential element of PMKSY whose objective is to link agricultural production to the market by bringing together the farmers, processors and retailers. As of now, 37 MFPs have been approved out of which 20 have begun operations. Ministry has expanded the Operation greens scheme from TOP to TOTAL.  Under this scheme, Ministry will provide 50% subsidy for transportation of eligible crops from surplus production cluster to consumption centre for six months and Hiring of appropriate storage facilities for suitable crops (for a maximum period of 3 months)

    Webinar between India Kazakhstan Defence Cooperation Hosted

    2 days ago
    Ambassadors of both countries and senior Ministry of Defence (MoD) officials from both sides participated in the webinar. A webinar between India and Kazakhstan was held on October 15 2020. Highlights: ♦ The Theme of the webinar was "Make In India For The World, India – Kazakhstan Defence Cooperation: Webinar and Expo".  ♦ Webinar was organized under the aegis of Department of Defence Production, Ministry of Defence through FICCI. ♦ This webinar is the part of the series of webinars which are being managed with friendly foreign countries to boost defence exports and achieve defence export target of $5 billion in the next five years. ♦ Webinar observed the need to leverage opportunities not only for co-development and co-production but also to meet each other's requirements ♦ Various Indian companies such as L&T Defence, Ashok Leyland Limited, Bharat Forge, Zen Technologies, Elcom Innovations, Hindustan Aeronautics Limited, Alpha Design Technologies and Bharat Electronics Limited made company and product presentations on major platforms/equipment like Artillery Systems, Radars, Protected Vehicles, Missiles and Air Defence Equipments, Training Solutions etc. in the webinar.  ♦ BEL announced its plans to open a representative office in Kazakhstan. ♦ More than 350 participants attended the webinar, and 39 virtual exhibition stalls, which include seven stalls from Kazakh companies, have been set up in the Expo.

    Defence Minister Rajnath Singh presented Raksha MantriTrophy

    2 days ago
    Defence Minister Shri Rajnath Singh gives away Raksha Mantri Trophy for Best Command Hospitals Armed Forces Medical Services (AFMS) for the year 2019 on October 16, 2020. The Defence Secretary attended the award function besides senior service and civilian dignitaries. Highlights: ♦ Command Hospital (Air Force) Bengaluru has backed the Best Command Hospital for the year 2019. ♦ Command Hospital (Eastern Command) Kolkata has backed as the Second Best Command Hospital for the year 2019. ♦ AFMS was acknowledged for its incredible services from combat medical support to troops deployed in operational roles. ♦ AFMS has provided its services at mid-zonal, zonal, and tertiary care hospitals of its. ♦ The Raksha Mantri Trophy was first instituted in the year 1989  ♦ The Raksha Mantri Trophy is to recognize excellence in healthcare services provided by Command Hospitals of the AFMS and to make a spirit of healthy competition among them.

    SCALE India Android App launched by LSSC

    2 days ago
    Leather Sector Skill Council launches SCALE India Android App for Enhanced Quality Assurance under Skill India Mission. Leather Sector Skill Council (LSSC)  today announced the launch of Skill Certification Assessment for Leather Employees (SCALE) India android app on October 15, 2020 Aim: The SCALE platform assists employees to upgrade their skills basis changing market dynamics. The aim is to meet the evolving industry demands and get certified on the new skills acquired. It brings candidate/trainee, employer, employee, assessor and trainer – all at one place. Highlights: ♦ SCALE app virtually works on any smart handheld device, desktop/laptop, smart phones, tablets etc. ♦ The app will also helps in engaging employers with other stakeholders and also provide a marketplace for human capital for the leather industry. ♦ The assessments are currently available in English, Hindi, Tamil, and Bengali, with plans to add more regional languages in a phased manner. ♦ This app will help candidates in the skilling ecosystem to get assessed and certified on their knowledge, skills and behaviour on a specific qualification pack. ♦ SCALE App provides access to micro learning modules for the betterment of the knowledge. Leather Sector Skill Council (LSSC): LSSC set up in year 2012 by the approval of National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC) is a non-profit organisation dedicated to meet the demand for skilled workforce in the leather industry in India.

    ECI appoints Shri M K Das as Special Police Observer forBye-Elections in Madhya Pradesh

    2 days ago
    The Election Commission of India (ECI) appoints retired IPS officer Shri Mrinal Kanti Das as Special Police Observer for forthcoming Bye-Elections to Legislative Assembly of Madhya Pradesh.  Shri Mrinal Kanti Das (Sh. M K Das) assigned to observe the conduct of bye-elections and poll preparedness, especially concerning security-related issues. M K Das: Sh. M K Das, who retired as Director-General of Manipur police.He was also deputed as Special Police Observer for General Election to the Legislative Assembly of NCT of Delhi, 2020.He stood in the same capacity for Tripura and Mizoram during the 2019 Lok Sabha Elections, and also during the Jharkhand Assembly elections of 2019.Sh. M K Das has an impeccable track record, and he is expertise in the domain.

    Cabinet approves MoU between India and Australia for collaboration in making impact for sustainable groundwater management

    4 days ago
    Union Cabinet approved the MoU signed with Australia for the various purposes and it mainly focuses on our sustainable growth. The MoU between India and Australia focuses on various fields like research and development, capacity building and sustainable growth. Highlights ♦ The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi apprised a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed between Central Ground Water Board (CGWB), Department of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga rejuvenation, India and Managing Aquifer Recharge and Sustaining Groundwater use through village-level intervention (MARVI) PARTNERS, Australia in October, 2019. ♦ The MoU has been signed for promoting cooperation in surface and groundwater training, education and research to achieve water security for agricultural, urban, industrial and environmental purposes.

    India joined the UK-led campaign against encrypted social media messages

    4 days ago
    India is among seven countries to back a UK-led campaign against end-to-end encryption of messages by social media giants such as Facebook. It has been claimed that this feature hinders the law enforcement against illegal activities by blocking all access to them. Further, the system also prevents law enforcement investigating and prosecuting against online child sexual abuse,and terrorist content. Highlights ♦ The UK and India will be joined by the US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and Japan. ♦ A joint international statement addressed to all tech companies to ensure that they do not blind themselves for illegal activity on their platforms such as child abuse images. ♦ It marks an expansion of the so-called “Five Eyes” group of nations, a global alliance on intelligence issues,by including India and Japan ♦ Facebook said that end-to-end encryption is necessary to protect people’s most private information, in return.  ♦ Facebook backed itself by stating that people prefer end-to-end encrypted messaging on various apps because it keeps their messages safe from hackers, criminals, and foreign interference.   Five Eyes group of nations ♦ The Five Eyes (FVEY) is an intelligence alliance.  ♦ The origin of the FVEY date back to the post–World War II period.  ♦ During that time, the FVET developed the ECHELON surveillance system in order to monitor the communications of the former Soviet Union and the Eastern Bloc. ♦ Now this system is used to monitor private communications worldwide.  ♦ FVEY comprises of Australia, New Zealand, Canada, the United Kingdom and the United States.  ♦ It is a surveillance program operated by the United States with the help of four signatory states of the UKUSA Security Agreement namely, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom.  ♦ It was created in 1960s to monitor the military and diplomatic communications of the Soviet Union during the Cold War.

    India, France re-elected as President, Co-President of ISA

    4 days ago
    At the Third Assembly of International Solar Alliance (ISA), India and France were re-elected as the President and Co-President of the alliance for a term of two years. The 3rd ISA Assembly was held through video conferencing on October 14, 2020. Highlights: ♦ The assembly was attended by 34 ISA Members ministers. A total of 53 member countries and 5 signatory and prospective member countries have participated. ♦ Four new Vice-Presidents were also selected to represent the four regions of ISA. ♦ The representatives of Fiji & Nauru for Asia Pacific Region; Mauritius & Niger for Africa Region; UK & Netherlands for Europe and others Region, and Cuba and Guyana for Latin America and Caribbean Region assumed the vice presidency. ♦ The Assembly also approved the initiatives of the ISA Secretariat in institutionalizing ISA’s engagement with the private and public corporate sector through the Coalition for Sustainable Climate Action (CSCA).  ♦ Ten public sector organisations in India presented a cheque for 1 million USD each at the assembly.

    Union Cabinet approves Rs 5,718 crore World Bank-aided STARS project

    4 days ago
    World Bank-aided Strengthening Teaching-Learning and Results for States (STARS) project is aims in strengthening the School Education System. Union Cabinet headed by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi has approved Rs.5,718 crore for the STARS Project. The project provides support for 6 States namely Himachal Pradesh, Rajasthan, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Kerala and Odisha. Highlights: ♦ STARS project is regarded as a new Centrally Sponsored Scheme under the Department of School Education and Literacy, Ministry of Education (MOE). ♦ The important component of the project is to establish PARAKH (Performance Assessment, Review, and Analysis of Knowledge for Holistic Development) as a National Assessment Centre. ♦ National Assessment Centre will set norms for student assessment and evaluation for all school boards across the country. ♦ The major initiative is to strengthen the Education Ministry’s data systems to capture information on the retention, transition and completion rates of students. ♦ A similar project soon to be funded by the Asian Development Bank will cover Gujarat, Tamil Nadu, Uttarakhand, Jharkhand and Assam and every State will partner with one other State to share their best methos. ♦ The STARS project also aims to focus on initiatives of PM e-Vidya, Foundational Literacy and Numeracy Mission and National Curricular and Pedagogical Framework for Early Childhood Care and Education as part of the Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan.

    GoI sets up Panel of Secretaries to streamline telecom spectrum allocation

    5 days ago
    The Government of India formed a Panel of Secretaries under cabinet secretary Rajiv Gauba to streamline the spectrum allocation process and examine it. Highlights: ♦ The Panel has been constituted to streamline the allocation of spectrum. It will analyse the potential of drawing up an annual calendar for the public sale of airwaves that may give telcos a transparent street map of the quantum in addition to the frequency of spectrum on supply for industrial use. ♦ Besides cabinet secretary Rajiv Gauba, the Panel also constitutes the secretaries of house, defence, railways, telecom, I&B and division of the house. The first meeting of the newly constituted panel was held on 12 October, 2020. ♦ The immediate and initial task for the panel is to resolve a tussle between the telecom department and Department of Space on 5G spectrum in the 26 GHz band. The DoS has chunks of these coveted airwaves but the department is refusing to part with it. The DoT and the telcos are in need of the super-efficient millimetre waves for commercial use, given that the global 5G ecosystem is rapidly developing around this band. If access to these airwaves is denied, 5G network deployment costs would reach high. Background: The spectrum trade at the moment has a debt of over Rs. 8.55 lakh crore together with these associated to authorities dues on airwave purchases. It has spent an amount of Rs.2.51 lakh crore on shopping for spectrum within the six auctions since 2010. The discussions about this will happen when the federal government plans to carry a 4G airwaves sale early subsequent 12 months. The final sale happened in October 2016.

    E- Sanjeevani Initiative records 5 lakh teleconsultations

    5 days ago
    Union Health Ministry’s E- Sanjeevani Initiative recently recorded 5 lakh teleconsultations. The initiative recorded one lakh consultations in just 17 days. Highlights: ♦ Top 3 states with highest teleconsultations include Tamil Nadu (1,69,977) Uttar Pradesh (1,34,992) and Himachal Pradesh (39,326).  ♦ Presently, 26 states are using two versions of eSanjeevani’s telemedicine namely, eSanjeevani OPD (Patient-to-Doctor) and e-Sanjeevani AB-HWC (Doctor-to-Doctor) ♦ As per the government report,  20% of the patients have used e-Sanjeevani services for consultation more than once. ♦ Currently, eSanjeevani AB-HWC is functional at 4,000 Health and Wellness Centres in our country. About e-Sanjeevani: e-Sanjeevani OPD was launched on April 13, 2020, and e-Sanjeevani AB-HWC was launched in November 2019. E-Sanjeevani was launched by the Health Ministry in November 2019. It is a national telemedicine service that offers teleconsultations enabling patient to doctor consultations from their home.This e-Sanjeevani platform has launched two types of telemedicine services that is Doctor-to-Doctor and Patient-to-Doctor Tele-consultations. The telemedicine platform is hosting various OPDs, which include Gynaecology, ENT, Ophthalmology, Psychiatry, Dermatology, antiretroviral therapy (ART) for the AIDS/HIV patients, Non-Communicable Disease etc.

    AIM collaborates with CGI to promote Innovation across schools

    5 days ago
    Atal Innovation Mission (AIM), an initiative of NITI Aayog, has signed a Statement of Intent (SOI) with Client Global Sights (CGI) India in the view of speeding up the innovation across the schools. The partnership aims to promote a culture of innovation and entrepreneurship across the country. Highlights: ♦ As part of the SOI, CGI has agreed to adopt 100 schools with ATLs across Bangalore, Chennai, Hyderabad and Mumbai to promote and train students.  ♦ Volunteers of CGI will coach and mentor students to enhance technical literacy and for the development of immersive learning experiences to the students through hands-on training. ♦ CGI will conduct training, workshops for teachers at selective schools on various topics that include design thinking, computational thinking, robotics and coding. ♦ CGI India is one of the largest IT and business consulting services organisations. CGI has collaborated for creating a successful and innovative workforce from the ATL schools as it is a part of Atal Tinkering Lab (ATL) initiative. In India, CGI employs more than 14,000 consultants across major cities who provide global delivery support to clients all over the globe, ensuring accountability, flexibility,  close collaboration, superior service and also expected business results.  

    Delhi Cabinet approves Tree Transplantation Policy

    7 days ago
    The Delhi Cabinet approved the ‘Tree Transplantation Policy’ for the preservation of trees in the Capital. The Cabinet also approved the installation of the second smog tower in the world at Connaught Place within ten months. The project seeks to prevent large-scale felling for development projects. Highlights: ♦ Under the policy, a minimum of 80% of trees affected by a development or construction project will be transplanted. Over 80% of the transplanted trees must survive after transplantation. ♦ Also, 10 saplings will be planted in addition to the whole tree being dug up with the root intact and scientifically transplanted at another location instead of being felled. ♦ Delhi state government is to form a panel of agencies for tree transplantation and the government departments concerned will contact these agencies. ♦ Under this initiative, various measures including Electric Vehicle (EV), tree transplantation, and preventing stubble burning will be taken.  ♦ The main objective of the key components of this campaign was the tree transplantation policy.

    TRIFED, Chhattisgarh MFP Federation, IIT-Kanpur to launch Tech for Tribals Initiative

    7 days ago
    Tribal Cooperative Marketing Development Federation of India Ltd (TRIFED) under Ministry of Tribal Affairs in collaboration with Chhattisgarh MFP Federation and IIT-Kanpur is to launch ‘Tech for Tribals' initiative on 13th October 2020.  Tech for Tribals: ♦ The initiative aims to provide advance level training to the Vandhan tribal beneficiaries. Earlier, TRIFED has collaborated with MSME through its Entrepreneurship and Skill Development Programme (ESDP) scheme for providing skill upgrading and entrepreneurial capacity building support to the Van Dhan tribal beneficiaries to establish their sustainable enterprise.  ♦ Tech for Tribals initiative aims at the holistic development of tribals with a focus on entrepreneurship development, soft skills, IT, and business development through Self Help Groups (SHGs) operating through Van Dhan Kendras (VDVKs). ♦ The initiative focuses to bridge the gap between tribal entrepreneurs and urban markets. ♦ Under the program, the beneficiaries will undergo a 30 days program over six weeks comprising 120 sessions. The training will be initially held from 12th October - 7th November 2020, in which Vandhan beneficiaries across all districts of Chhattisgarh. The beneficiaries will be trained on various facets of micro-enterprise creation, management and functioning.  ♦ The training module has been developed by IIT-Kanpur. The module will be disseminated among beneficiaries in a phased manner through various modes such as online lectures and training, online activities and gradually move to face to face interactions in classrooms, practical, onsite visits and exposure visits.

    India, ADB Signed USD 300 Million Loan to Develop Secondary Towns in Rajasthan

    7 days ago
    The Government of India and the Asian Development Bank (ADB) signed a $300 million loan on 12th October to finance inclusive and sustainable water supply and sanitation infrastructure and services in 14 secondary towns of the state of Rajasthan. Highlights: ♦ The project will provide sustainable water supply and sanitation (WSS) services in the project towns in Rajasthan.  ♦ The aim is to improve quality of life in these towns, including for the poor and vulnerable after signing the loan agreement.  ♦ The investments in WSS with 10-year operation and maintenance contracts will ensure improved and sustainable service delivery in line with the state government’s urban sector development plan. ♦ The project strengthened the institutional capacity of the local governments and the Rajasthan Urban Drinking Water, Sewerage, and Infrastructure Corporation Limited, which is a corporate entity established with ADB’s technical support.  ♦ The main objective of the project is to provide support to women and vulnerable groups by providing paid internships, skills training, and community engagement and awareness activities. ♦ ADB has been funded in Rajasthan since 2000 including innovations such as cost-effective systems and the use of smart technologies.  ♦ The project aims to empower urban local bodies, and strengthen their institutional capacity; deepen sector reforms, and build resilience of communities to manage health pandemics. ♦ Under the project, water supply systems in at least 8 project towns are expected to improve by 2027. This will benefit more than 570,000 people and Citywide sanitation systems will benefit about 720,000 people in at least 14 secondary towns. 

    International Girl Child Day is observed on 11 October

    7 days ago
    International Day of the Girl Child is globally observed on 11 October every year. The day aims to meet the needs and challenges faced by girls. It also aims to promote girls' empowerment and the fulfillment of their human rights. Theme: The theme for 2020 International Day of the Girl Child "My voice, our equal future". The theme focuses on reimagining a better world inspired adolescent girls. International Day of the Girl 2020 will focus on their demands to Learn new skills towards the futures they choose, Live free from gender-based violence, harmful practices, and HIV and AIDS, and Lead as a generation of activists accelerating social change. History: In 1995, the 4th World Conference on Women was held in Beijing, China. The conference was determined to recognize the rights of women and girls as human rights. It adopted the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action which is the most comprehensive policy agenda for the empowerment of women.  On 19 December 2011, the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) adopted a resolution 66/170 to declare 11 October as the International Day of the Girl Child. The resolution recognized girl's rights and the challenges that girls face around the world. The first International Day of the Girl Child was observed on 11 October 2012 with the theme Ending Child Marriage.

    Shri Arjun Munda launched largest Market of Tribal Products Tribes Indiae-Marketplace

    17 days ago
    Union Minister for Tribal Affairs Shri Arjun Munda Launcheslargest Market of Tribal Products ‘Tribes Indiae-Marketplace’ and 2 New Tribes India Outlets in Kolkata and Rishikesh. The initiative aims to transform tribal lives and livelihoods.  Highlights: ♦ The Tribal E marketplace, market.tribesindia.com, showcases the produce and handicrafts of tribal enterprises from across the country. ♦ These new TRIFED initiatives will connect tribal forest dwellers and artisans with national and international markets.  ♦ It will enable the economic welfare of these communities and bring them closer towards mainstream development. ♦ It aims to help the tribal people to market their produce/ products directly. ♦ The move is a major step towards the digitisation of tribal commerce.  ♦ The Ministry of Tribal Affairs (MoTA) focuses on skill development of tribal artisans to make them more skilled and will provide them a market for their tribal products.

    AYUSH Minister inaugurates Tribal Unit of NIN at Gohe Budruk in Pune

    17 days ago
    The Union Minister of AYUSH Shri Shripad Yesso Naik virtually inaugurated the new unit of National Institute of Naturopathy (NIN) to serve the tribal population at Gohe Budruk in Pune, Maharashtra.  Highlights: ♦ The new tribal unit of NIN at scheduled tribal areas comes with a 20 bedded facility to provide free clinical services to the tribal population of the area.  ♦ There is a training unit focusing on employment and health of tribal youth.  ♦ A research unit on tribal practices of health maintenance has been started. It will act as a repository of knowledge base and will work in the areas of education, nutrition and health problems of the tribal population.  ♦ The tribal unit has been started with cooperation and assistance from the Tribal Development Department, Government of Maharashtra. 

    Thaawarchand Gehlot e-launched ASIIM

    18 days ago
    Union Minister for Social Justice and Empowerment Shri Thaawarchand Gehlot e-launched the Ambedkar Social Innovation and Incubation Mission (ASIIM) under Venture Capital Fund for SCs. The aim is to promote innovation and enterprise among SC students studying in higher educational institutions. Highlights: ♦ Venture Capital Fund for SCs (VCF-SCs) will implement the ASIIM initiative ♦ Under this initiative VCF-SC will focus on SC students and young entrepreneurs working in Technology Business Incubators (TBIs) that are supported by Department of Science and Technology (DST) in higher education and technology institution including Business / Management schools.  ♦ VCF-SC will support ASIIM by partnering with it and providing guidance, mentoring, providing equity suand/ entrepreneurs.  ♦ The budget of ASIIM for the next 4 years has been kept at Rs.19320 lakhs. VCF-SCs: VCF-SCs was set up in 2016 with the Fund size of Rs.500 crore. So far, VCF-SC has sanctioned financial assistance to 118 companies to the tune of Rs.444.14 crore. Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment has modified the Venture Capital for Scheduled Castes (VCF-SC) guidelines with an aim to further motivate and encourage Innovative entrepreneurial Startups. M/o SJ&E aims to keep focused attention in providing equity support to entities and companies of young SC entrepreneurs working on innovative and technology-based ideas.

    Dr Harsh Vardhan launched CSIR Technologies for rural development

    18 days ago
    The Union Minister of Science & Technology, Earth Sciences and Health & Family Welfare, Dr Harsh Vardhan launched CSIR Technologies for rural development on the occasion of CSIR-NISTADS 40th Foundation Day. It was launched under a joint initiative of Council of Scientific & Industrial Research (CSIR), Indian Institute of Technology Delhi (IIT-D), Unnat Bharat Abhiyan (UBA), and Vijnana Bharti (VIBHA). He also released CSIR-NISTADS (National Institute of Science, Technology and Development Studies) e-Compendium and e-Coffee Table Book, on the occasion. Highlights: ♦ CSIR Technologies seeks to explore and reinvent innovative approaches for actions from different stakeholders. ♦ The programme aims to enable the outreach of CSIR rural technologies to society. ♦ The technologies released included: Improved beehive for quality and hygienic extraction of honey, CSIR-IHBT, Palampur Technology for manufacturing of Ginger paste, CSIR-CFTRI, Mysore Dehumidified drier for food and Agri products, CSIR-NIIST, Thiruvananthapuram Technology for agricultural waste (sugarcane bagasse, wheat bran, and fruit peels) based biodegradable plates, cups and cutleries, CSIR-NIIST, Thiruvananthapuram Unnat Bharat Abhiyan: Unnat Bharat Abhiyan programme of the Ministry of Education. It was conceptualised and launched in IIT-Delhi. It aims to introduce transformational change in rural development processes by leveraging knowledge institutions to help build the architecture of an Inclusive India. Unnat Bharat Abhiyan constitutes of 45 Regional Coordinating Institutions (RCIs) and 2,614 Participating Institutions (PIs). A total of 13,760 villages have been adopted under Unnat Bharat Abhiyan, so far.

    PM Narendra Modi inaugurates six mega projects in Uttarakhand under the Namami Gange Mission

    20 days ago
    PM Narendra Modi inaugurates six mega projects in Uttarakhand under the Namami Gange Mission on 29th September 2020 through video conference. Also, he will also inaugurate “Ganga Avalokan” museum, the first museum on Ganga which is dedicated to showcasing the culture, biodiversity and rejuvenation activities done in Ganga river. The Ganga Avalokan museum is located at Chandi Ghat, Haridwar. He unveiled the logo of Jal Jeevan Mission (JJM) and ‘Margdarshika for Gram Panchayats and Paani Samitis under Jal Jeevan Mission.’ Highlights: ♦ The 6 projects include upgradation of the existing 27 MLD at Jagjeetpur, in Haridwar, the construction of a 68 MLD STP, the construction of an 18 MLD STP at Sarai, in Haridwar.  ♦ The 68 MLD Jagjeetpur project marks the completion of the first sewerage project taken up on hybrid annuity mode of PPP. ♦ In Rishikesh, a 26 MLD STP at Lakkadghat was inaugurated. ♦ As the Haridwar-Rishikesh zone contributes about 80% wastewater load into the River Ganga, these STPs will play a significant role in keeping the River Ganga clean. ♦ The PM also inaugurated a 5 MLD STP at Chorpani, and two STPs with capacities of 1 MLD and 0.01 MLD at Badrinath. ♦ A book titled ‘Rowing down the Ganges’, co-published by National Mission for Clean Ganga & Wildlife Institute of India was launched at the event. The book attempts to merge the culture and biodiversity of the Ganga River. The book conceptualizes the story of the Ganga as what one would see when one rows down from Gaumukh.

    Kritagya Hackathon launched by National Agricultural Higher Education Project of ICAR

    26 days ago
    Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) under the National Agricultural Higher Education Project (NAHEP) has launched a hackathon named “KRITAGYA”. The aim is to promote potential technology solutions to enhance farm mechanization with special emphasis on women-friendly equipment. Kritagya Hackathon: ♦ Students, faculties and innovators/entrepreneurs from any university / technical institution across the country can apply and participate in the event in the form of a group. ♦ A group can have a maximum of 4 participants with not more than one faculty and/or more than one innovator or entrepreneur.  ♦ The participating students can collaborate with local start-ups, students from technology institutes. They can win Rs.5 lakhs, Rs.3 lakhs and Rs.1 lakh as first, second and third prize.  ♦ The registration started on 15th September 2020. ♦ The hackathon aims to be an important role to enhance the farm productivity and profitability as the Centre aims to enhance the innovation in farm mechanization in several meeting and provided the overall guidance in organizing this event. ♦ This event will provide an opportunity to the students, faculties, entrepreneurs, innovators and other stakeholders to showcase their innovative approaches and technology solutions to promote farm mechanization in India.  ♦ The hackathon will be in line with the vision of high-quality higher education with equity and inclusion as envisaged in NEP-2020.

    Centre launched National Conservation Strategy for Indian One-Horned Rhino

    27 days ago
    Environment Ministry launched a National Conservation Strategy for Indian One-Horned Rhino. It was launched by the Union Minister Prakash Javadekar. The conservation initiatives for rhino has also enriched the grassland management as it helps in reducing the negative impacts of climate change. National Rhino Conservation Strategy: ♦ The Strategy was launched to conserve the greater one-horned rhinoceros.  ♦ It aims to work for the conservation of the rhino species under five objectives namely strengthening protection, expanding the distribution range, research, monitoring, and adequate and sustained funding. Background: India is home to a huge number of Greater One-Horned Rhinoceros in the world. The population of the Rhinos are high in number in Assam, West Bengal and UP. In the beginning of the 20th Century, One-horned rhino was close to extinction with a population of less than 200. Rhino is the only large mammal species in Asia to be down-listed from endangered to vulnerable in the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List in 2008.

    Government launched YuWaah, a multi-stakeholder platform to make young people career ready

    27 days ago
    Ministry of Youth Affairs & Sports and United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF) have signed a Statement of Intent (SoI) with Generation Unlimited (GenU), a global multi-stakeholder platform in India, to establish YuWaah, to make young people career ready. This information was passed by the Union Minister of State (IC) for Youth Affairs and Sports Kiren Rijiju. YuWaah: The project aims to: ♦ Support young people by providing entrepreneurship classes, both online and offline, with successful entrepreneurs and experts. The aim is to establish an entrepreneurial mindset among young people. ♦ Boost the skills of the 21st-century young people, digital skills, life skills, through online and offline channels and support them through self-learning, for their productive lives and the future of work. ♦ Create economic opportunities to connect young people with employment opportunities, including building pathways to connect them with jobs or self-employment. It will engage innovative solutions and technology platforms to take maximize the scale and reach. ♦ It will provide career guidance support to young people through career portal and through job-readiness and self-exploration sessions to make young people career-ready.

    PM inaugurated PMAY-G in Madhya Pradesh

    37 days ago
    Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed the ‘Grih Pravesham’ event in Madhya Pradesh through video conferencing. During the event 1.75 Lakh Families were delivered pucca houses under the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana- Grameen (PMAY-G). Highlights: ♦ The move comes as a part of the Housing for All by 2022, for which a flagship programme of PMAY-G was launched on 20th November 2016.  Over 1.14 crore houses have already been built, so far, across the country under the programme.   ♦ In Madhya Pradesh, 17 lakh poor households have benefited from this scheme so far. ♦ Under PMAY-G, each beneficiary is given a 100% grant of Rs.1.20 lakh.  ♦ The amount will be shared between Centre and State at the ratio of 60:40.  ♦ Funds for all these houses constructed under PMAY-G are given by way of 4 installments directly into the bank account of the beneficiary after verification of various stages of construction through Geotagged photographs.  ♦ The scheme envisages aims to construct 2.95 crore houses by the year 2022.         ♦ Also, the beneficiaries under the scheme are provided support of unskilled labour wages for 90/95 person days under Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS) and assistance of Rs.12,000 for the construction of toilets through Swachh Bharat Mission-Gramin. PMAY-G: Pradhan Mantri Awaas Yojana – Gramin (PMAY-G) programme was launched on 20 November 2016. It is an initiative by the Government of India. Earlier, PMAY-G was known as Indira Awaas Yojana. The social welfare program is aimed to make sure every people get housing by 2022. The programme was initially launched by the then Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi in 1985.

    MoRTH organized the Orientation and Training Programme of iRAD App

    37 days ago
    Ministry of Road Transport & Highways conducted 2-days Orientation and Training programme on iRAD App on 7 & 8 September for the selected districts of Karnataka, and on 10th & 11th September 2020 for some districts of Uttar Pradesh.  iRAD app: ♦ The basic iRAD App has been developed. The app will be customized/integrated as per the requirements of concerned States/UTs.  ♦ The Mobile app of iRAD is currently available for the Android platform, and for other platforms like iOS will be available shortly. ♦ The App will enable the stakeholders such as the Police, Transport, Health, etc to use their mobile phones to collect accident data on the spot. ♦ Integrated Road Accident Database Project (iRAD) was proposed on the IT-based system for capturing the spot accident data using a mobile app configured for this purpose.  ♦ The data thus collected can then be utilized for various purposes like finding the causes of the accidents and remedial measures to improve the road infrastructure, to record the accident data for the use of police, health services, and other concerned departments.

    Ayushman Khurrana appointed as celebrity advocate of UNICEF India

    37 days ago
    Ayushmann Khurrana is appointed as the celebrity advocate for children's rights campaign - 'For Every Child' of UNICEF India. Khurrana will promote and support UNICEF towards ending violence against children. Roles: Ayushmann Khurrana will promote and support UNICEF's work around ending violence against children. He will work towards this initiative globally. He will help increase awareness about this important issue, amid COVID-19 with the risk of violence and abuse against children due to the extended lockdown and the socio-economic impacts of the pandemic. In the year 2013, Sachin Tendulkar has also advocated the UNICEF in India.

    Hardeep S Puri launched CSCAF 2.0 and Streets for People Challenge

    38 days ago
    Union Minister of State for Housing and Urban Affairs (I/C) Shri Hardeep Singh Puri has launched the Climate Smart Cities Assessment Framework (CSCAF) 2.0 in a virtual event Smart Cities Mission (SCM), Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (MoHUA). He also launched ‘Streets for People Challenge’ at the event.  CSCAF 2.0: ♦ The main objective of CSCAF is to provide a clear roadmap for cities towards combating Climate Change while planning and implementing their actions, including investments.  ♦ The move is because, in the past decade, an increasing frequency of cyclones, floods, heatwaves, water scarcity, and drought-like conditions have had adverse impacts on many of the Indian cities causing loss of life and impact the economic growth.  ♦ The initiative intends to inculcate a climate-sensitive approach to urban planning and development in India.  ♦ The Climate Centre for Cities under the National Institute of Urban Affairs (NIUA) will support MoHUA in the implementation of CSCAF. ♦ The framework has 28 indicators across five categories:      (i) Energy and Green Buildings      (ii) Urban Planning, Green Cover & Biodiversity      (iii) Mobility and Air Quality      (iv) Water Management       (v) Waste Management ​♦ The framework was developed after reviewing existing frameworks and assessment approaches adopted throughout the world followed by a series of extensive consultative process with more than 26 organizations and 60 experts from different thematic areas.

    PM to participate in Grih Pravesham on 12th September

    38 days ago
    Prime Minister Narendra Modi is to participate in Grih Pravesham on 12 September via video conferencing. He will inaugurate 1.75 lakh houses built under Pradhan Mantri Awaas Yojana-Gramin (PMAY-G) in Madhya Pradesh. All of these houses were built and completed during the current challenging COVID-19 pandemic. Highlights: ♦ The move comes as a part of the Housing for All by 2022, for which a flagship programme of PMAY-G was launched on 20th November 2016.  Over 1.14 crore houses have already been built, so far, across the country under the programme.   ♦ In Madhya Pradesh, 17 lakh poor households have benefited from this scheme so far. Under PMAY-G, each beneficiary is given a 100% grant of Rs.1.20 lakh.  ♦ The amount will be shared between Centre and State at the ratio of 60:40.  Funds for all these houses constructed under PMAY-G are given by way of 4 installments directly into the bank account of the beneficiary after verification of various stages of construction through Geotagged photographs.  ♦ The scheme envisages aims to construct 2.95 crore houses by the year 2022.         ♦ Also, the beneficiaries under the scheme are provided support of unskilled labour wages for 90/95 person days under Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS) and assistance of Rs.12,000 for the construction of toilets through Swachh Bharat Mission-Gramin.

    India Post launched 5 Star Villages Scheme to ensure 100 percent rural coverage of postal schemes

    38 days ago
    The Department of Posts, under the Ministry of Communications, has launched the Five Star Villages Scheme. The aim is to ensure universal coverage of flagship postal schemes in rural areas of the country. The scheme was launched by Union State for Communications Minister Sanjay Dhotre. Five Star Villages Scheme: ♦ Five Star Villages Scheme aims to bridge the gaps in public awareness and reach of postal products and services, especially in interior villages.  ♦ Under the scheme, all postal products and services will be made available and marketed and publicized at the village level.  ♦ The branch offices will function as a one-stop-shop to cater to all post-office-related needs of villagers.  ♦ The schemes covered under the Five Star scheme are:     i) Savings Bank accounts, Recurrent Deposit Accounts, National Savings Certificate (NSC) / Kisan Vikas Patra (KVP) certificates,      ii) Sukanya Samridhi Accounts/ Public Provident Fund (PPF) Accounts,      iii) Funded Post Office Savings Account linked India Post Payments Bank Accounts,     iv) Postal Life Insurance Policy / Rural Postal Life Insurance Policy     v) Pradhan Mantri Suraksha Bima Yojana Account / Pradhan Mantri Jeevan Jyoti Bima Yojana Account ♦ The five schemes will be implemented by a team of 5 Gramin Dak Sevaks. They will be assigned a village for the marketing of all products, savings, and insurance schemes of the Department of Posts. 

    Mansukh Mandaviya launched SAROD-Ports

    38 days ago
    Union Minister of State for Shipping (I/C) Mansukh Mandaviya virtually launched the Society for Affordable Redressal of Disputes-Ports (SAROD-Ports) in New Delhi. The ports are aimed for affordable and timely resolution of disputes in a fair manner. The main objective is the enrichment of Dispute Resolution Mechanism with the panel of technical experts as arbitrators. Highlights: ♦ All major Ports are shifting towards Landlord Model.  ♦ SAROD-Ports will inspire participants of private players. ♦ It will promote ease of doing business in the maritime sector due to a fast, timely, cost-effective and robust dispute resolution mechanism. ♦ Many concessioners will work with Major Ports of India.  ♦ SAROD-Ports constitutes members from Indian Ports Association (IPA) and Indian Private Ports and Terminals Association (IPTTA). ♦ SAROD-Ports will assist in the settlement of disputes through arbitrations in the maritime sector, including ports and shipping sector in Major Port Trusts, Non-major Ports, including jetties, private ports, terminals, and harbours.  ♦ It will cover disputes between granting authority and Licensee/Concessionaire /Contractor.  ♦ SAROD-Ports has provisions available in the Highway Sector in the form of SAROD-Roads constituted by the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI).  

    AIM launched Aatmanirbhar Bharat ARISE-ANIC Initiative

    39 days ago
    Atal Innovation Mission (AIM), NITI Aayog, launched Aatmanirbhar Bharat ARISE-Atal New India Challenges (ANIC) initiative on 9 September. The initiative aimed to spur applied research and innovation in the Indian Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) and startups. Bharat ARISE-ANIC Initiative: ♦ Bharat ARISE-ANIC Initiative programme will be driven by the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO), four ministries named Ministry of Defence (MoD), Ministry of Food Processing Industries (MoFPI), Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, and Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (MoHUA) and associated industries.  ♦ The partnership under the initiative aims to facilitate innovative solutions to sectoral problems. ♦ The initiative will help identify and promote innovations necessary to boost the MSME sector.  ♦ The Aatmanirbhar Bharat ARISE-ANIC programme aims to support deserving applied research-based innovations by providing funding support of up to Rs.50 lakh for speedy development of the proposed technology solution and/or product.

    Narendra Singh Tomar launched 22 bamboo clusters in 9 States

    40 days ago
    Union Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare, Rural Development & Panchayati Raj Minister Narendra Singh Tomar virtually inaugurated 22 bamboo clusters in 9 States. He also released a logo for the National Bamboo Mission (NBM). The move aims to increase the export of bamboo products. Highlights: ♦ The 22 bamboo clusters in 9 States include Assam, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Odisha, Nagaland, Tripura, Uttarakhand, and Karnataka. ♦ Government of India  (GoI) aims to achieve the target set in the bamboo sector with the efforts of all stakeholders of the mission. ♦ Considering the importance of bamboo, Centre amended the Indian Forest Act, 1927 in 2017 to remove bamboo from the category of trees. This approved anyone to undertake cultivation and business in bamboo and its products ♦ Also, the import policy was modified to ensure the progress of the bamboo industry in the country. ♦ Bamboo, despite being India's ancient tradition in India, is being supported with modern technology and youth are also being given training.

    PM to hold Svanidhi Samvaad with street vendors from Madhya Pradesh on 9 September

    41 days ago
    Prime Minister Narendra Modi is to hold ‘Svanidhi Samvaad’ with street vendors from Madhya Pradesh on 9 September 2020 through video conferencing. The program will be telecasted through webcasts. PM will interact with 3 beneficiaries from the state by connecting virtually with them from their vending locations.  PM SVANidhi scheme: The Government of India (GoI) had launched the PM SVANidhi scheme on 1 June 2020. The scheme aims to help poor street vendors who are impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and to help them resume livelihood activities.  Under the scheme, 4.5 lakh street vendors were registered in Madhya Pradesh and over 4 lakh vendors are given identification and vendor certification. Around 2.45 lakh eligible beneficiaries have been presented through the Banks portal, out of which acceptance has been granted to around 1.4 lakh street vendors of amount worth Rs.140 crore. Madhya Pradesh stands first in the number of total applications accepted, with 47% this state alone.

    Thaawarchand Gehlot launched 24x7 toll-free Mental Health Rehabilitation Helpline KIRAN

    42 days ago
    Shri Thaawarchand Gehlot, Union Minister for Social Justice and Empowerment virtually launched the 24x7 Toll-Free Mental Health Rehabilitation Helpline “KIRAN” (1800-500-0019). The aim is to provide relief and support to persons with Mental Illness. The movement comes due to the growing incidence of Mental Illness, particularly in the wake of COVID-19 Pandemic. Gehlot also released the poster, brochure, and resource book on the Helpline.  Toll Free Helpline: ♦ Toll Free Helpline will be operational 24 hours a day, 7 days a week with the Technical Coordination of BSNL.  ♦ A total of 25 Institutions including 8 National Institutes are involved in this Helpline. ♦ The Toll-Free Helpline is backed by 660 Clinical/Rehabilitation Psychologists and 668 Psychiatrists.  ♦ It will function as a lifeline to provide 1st stage advice, counseling, and reference in 13 languages to individuals, families, NGOs, Parent Associations, Professional Associations, Rehabilitation Institutes, Hospitals or anyone in need of support across the country.  ♦ The 13 languages covered in the Helpline are Assamese, English, Gujarati, Hindi, Marathi, Malayalam, Odia, Tamil, Telugu, Punjabi, Kannada, Bengali, and Urdu. ♦ The Helpline is expected to be very useful for family members of persons with mental illness.

    THE World University Rankings 2021 released

    46 days ago
    Times Higher Education (THE) World University Rankings 2021 has been released and under the overall category, University of Oxford, United Kingdom, has topped the list. From India, the Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bengaluru, has been placed in the 301-350 category in overall global rankings.  Highlights: ♦ The IISc Bengaluru has slightly improved its overall score, from 45.6 to 47.9. ♦ The seven older IITs did not participate in the THE-World University Rankings 2020. ♦ The THE World University Rankings 2021 includes more than 1,500 universities across 93 countries and regions in 2020.  ♦ The participating universities are ranked based on their performance in knowledge transfer, teaching, research, and international outlook. ♦ THE World University Rankings analyzed more than 80 million citations across over 13 million research publications and included survey responses from 22,000 scholars globally.

    JK govt set up a 10-member council for the conservation of biological diversity

    46 days ago
    The Jammu & Kashmir government has set up a 10-member council for conservation of biological diversity and sustainable use of its components in the Union territory, officials said. As per an order issued by the General Administrative Department (GAD), sanction has been accorded to constitute the Jammu and Kashmir Biodiversity Council. Highlight: ♦ The Council will be headed by the Principal Chief Conservator of Forests as chairman of the 10-member panel.  ♦ The council will include five non-official members. ♦ The director of the Forest Research Institute, J&K, will serve as the member secretary of the council. ♦ Other members are the chief wildlife warden, a representative of the Department of Forest, and others. Non-official members include former IFS officers Dr C M Seth, Dr Om Prakash Sharma, professor Geeta Sumbli, Dr Anzar Khuroo and Dr.Sushi Verma. ♦ The term of office of the non-official members of the council will be for a period of three years. ♦ The council will constitute a fund known as "Jammu and Kashmir Biodiversity Council Fund". ♦ All the charges, fees, and benefit sharing amount that are received by the council will be credited to the fund. ♦ The council will perform the functions within the jurisdiction of the Union Territory of Jammu & Kashmir. ♦ The council will function upon the consultation with the National Biodiversity Authority, notify the format and procedures for seeking approvals with regard to biodiversity issues.

    Cabinet approved Mission Karmayogi

    47 days ago
    The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi has approved the launch of "Mission Karmayogi", a National Programme for Civil Services Capacity Building (NPCSCB). The programmes include institutional framework namely Prime Minister's Public Human Resources (HR) Council, Capacity Building Commission, Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) for owning and operating the digital assets And the technological platform for the online training and Coordination Unit headed by the Cabinet Secretary. Teh commission will suggest policy interventions required in the areas of HR Management and Capacity Building to the Government. Mission Karmayogi: Mission Karmayogi is aimed to prepare the Indian Civil Servant for the future by making them more constructive, imaginative, creative, innovative, proactive, progressive, professional, energetic, transparent, and technology-enabled. When the civil servants are empowered with specific role-competencies, they will be able to ensure efficient service delivery of the highest quality standards. Highlights: ♦ The Capacity Building Commission was aimed to ensure a uniform approach in regulating and managing the capacity building ecosystem on a collaborative and co-sharing basis. ♦ The commission will assist the PM Public Human Resources Council in approving the Annual Capacity Building Plans. ♦ The commission will also coordinate and supervise the implementation of the Capacity Building Plans with the stakeholder Departments. ♦ It will also exercise functional supervision over all Central Training Institutions dealing with civil services capacity building. ♦ It will make recommendations on the standardization of training and capacity building, pedagogy, and methodology. ♦ The Capacity Building Commission will set norms for common mid-career training programs across all civil services. ♦ The Capacity Building Commission suggests policy interventions required in the areas of HR Management and Capacity Building to the Government. iGOT-Karmayogi platform: Mission Karmayogi will be delivered by setting up an (Integrated Government Online Training) iGOTKarmayogiPlatform. The platform will evolve into a world-class market place for content were carefully curated and vetted digital e-learning material will be made available. Apart from capacity building, the platform will help to integrate service matters like confirmation after probation period, deployment, work assignment, and notification of vacancies, etc. with the proposed competency framework.

    Third Annual Leadership Summit of the USISPF is being held

    47 days ago
    The Third Annual Leadership Summit of the US-India Strategic Partnership Forum (USISPF) is being held from 31st August. Prime Minister Narendra Modi will deliver the Special Key Note Address at the USISPF 3rd Annual Leadership Summit through video conference. Highlights: ♦ The summit will be held for 5 days from 31 August. ♦ The theme of the 5-day Summit is "US-India Navigating New Challenges." ♦ The theme will cover various subjects such as India's potential in becoming a Global Manufacturing Hub, Opportunities in India’s Gas Market, Ease of Doing Business to attract Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in India. ♦ The Common Opportunities and Challenges in Tech Space, Indo-Pacific Economic issues, Innovation in Public Health, and others. ♦ Union Ministers and Senior Officials from India are participating in the Virtual Summit. ♦ USISPF - The US-India Strategic Partnership Forum is a non-profit organization that works for the partnership between India and the United States.

    Cabinet approvals

    47 days ago
    The Union Cabinet headed by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi approved the following: 1) Cabinet approved MoU between India and Finland for cooperation in the field of Geology and Mineral Resources. The MoU will enhance the cooperation in the field of geology and mineral resources between the Geological Survey of India (GSI), Ministry of Mines, the Government of India (GoI), and Geological Survey of Finland, Ministry of Employment and the Economy, Finland. Provisions of MoU: ♦ The MoU will facilitate cooperation between the two countries in the field of geology, training, 3/4D modeling, mineral prognostication, and suitability analysis, Seismic and other Geophysical surveys with the intent to reinforce and strengthen scientific links between the two Organisations. ♦ Under the MoU, a framework and a platform will be provided to promote cooperation in the fields of geology, mineral resources between the Participants for mutual economic, social, and environmental benefit. ♦ Both the countries will share experiences on geological data management and information dissemination to promote exploration and mining, in the areas of geology and mineral resources. 2) Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed between Textiles Committee, India, and M/s Nissenken Quality Evaluation Centre, Japan. The MoU was aimed to improve the quality and testing of Indian textiles and Clothing for the Japanese market. MoU Provisions: M/s Nissenken Quality Evaluation Centre, Japan will assign the Textile Committee as their cooperative Testing and Inspection service providers in India for Textiles & Apparel products including Technical Textiles and any other products that are mutually agreed upon at a later date for both domestic and overseas clients/buyers.

    Japan announced emergency loan of Rs.3,500 crore for India to fight Covid-19 pandemic

    47 days ago
    Japan has announced an emergency support loan of up to 50 billion yen (over Rs.3,500 crore) to support India’s fight against the Covid-19 pandemic. The loan will be used for the implementation of health and medical policies and the development of hospitals equipped with ICUs. Highlights: ♦ Government of India has taken several measures, including health sector reforms, in response to the spread of the Covid-19 outbreak.  ♦ It should be noted that this the largest amount of financial assistance announced by any country so far to support India’s response to the Covid-19 crisis. ♦ As per the terms & conditions of the loan, an interest rate of 0.01% per annum (pa) and a redemption period of 15 years, including a four-year grace period. ♦ Japan also exchanged notes for the provision of grant aid worth 1 billion yen under Japan’s Official Development Assistance scheme for India’s Economic and Social Development Programme. ♦ Under the programme, oxygen generators will be employed to the Government of India for the treatment of Covid-19 patients under critical conditions.  ♦ The programme will lead to the strengthening of India’s infectious disease countermeasures, and health and medical systems. ♦ The loan extended by Japan will provide the necessary funds for emergency response in the fight against Covid-19 in India.

    CSIR-CMERI develops Worlds Largest Solar Tree

    48 days ago
    Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR)-Central Mechanical Engineering Research Institute (CMERI) has developed the World’s Largest Solar Tree at Durgapur, West Bengal. The capacity of the installed Solar Tree is above 11.5 kilowatts peak (kWp). It has the annual capacity to generate 12,000-14,000 units of Clean and Green Power.  Solar Tree: ♦ The Solar Tree is designed in a way that it will ensure maximum exposure of each Solar photo-voltaic (PV) Panel to Sunlight. It creates the least amount of shadow area beneath.  ♦ A total of 35 Solar PV Panels are there in each tree with a capacity of 330 wp each. ♦ The unique feature is that the inclination of the arms holding the Solar PV Panels are flexible and can be adjusted as per requirement. This is not available in Roof-Mounted Solar facilities.  ♦ The data of the energy generated can be monitored either in real-time or on a daily basis. ♦ The design of the Solar Trees potentially makes it available for widespread usage in Agricultural activities such as High Capacity Pumps, e-Tractors, and e-Power Tillers.  ♦ The solar trees should be aligned with Agriculture for substituting price-volatile fossil fuels as the Solar Tree has the potential to save 10-12 tons of CO2 emissions being released into the atmosphere as Greenhouse Gases (GHG) when compared with fossil fuel-fired energy generation. ♦ Each Solar Tree will cost Rs 7.5 lakhs and the interested MSMEs can align their Business Model with the Pradhan Mantri Kisan Urja Suraksha evem Utthan Mahabhiyan (PM KUSUM) Scheme for farmers, for developing a Renewable Energy based Energy Grid.

    India to achieve 100 MT coal gasification target by 2030 yr

    48 days ago
    Government of India is aiming for 100 million tonnes (MT) coal gasification by 2030. The announcement was made by Pralhad Joshi, Union Minister of Coal and Mines at a webinar organized by the Ministry of Coal (MoC) in New Delhi.  Highlights: ♦ To achieve the target, Centre is to invest over Rs.4 lakh crores. ♦ The aim of the revised target is to boost the production of synthetic natural gas, energy fuel, urea for fertilizers, and the production of other chemicals.  ♦ Earlier, in order to encourage the use of clean sources of fuel, GoI has provided for a concession of 20% on the revenue share of coal used for gasification.  ♦ These will fall under the development of Surface Coal Gasification in India. ♦ Also, in this regard, GoI has constituted a Steering Committee under the chairmanship of Dr. V.K. Saraswat, Member of NITI Aayog. The board comprises of members from the Ministry of Coal.  ♦ On the other hand, CIL is to set up at least 3 gasification plants (besides Dankuni) on Build-Own-Operate (BOO) basis through global tendering. For this, CIL has signed an MOU with GAIL for marketing synthetic natural gas. What is Coal Gasification? The process by which coal gets converted into synthesis gas is referred to as Coal Gasification. The synthesis gas is also called Syngas. Syngas is a mixture of Carbon Monoxide, Hydrogen, Carbon Dioxide. This gas is used in applications like making fertilizers.

    Dept of Fertilizers to observe Swachhta Pakhwada from 1-15th September

    48 days ago
    Union Department of Fertilizers, Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilizers, is observing Swachhta Pakhwada from 1st to 15th September 2020. All Public sector undertakings (PSUs) and other Organizations under the  Department are participating in the Swachhta Abhiyan. Highlights: ♦ In the view of the COVID-19 pandemic, Swachhta Pakhwada has become more relevant.  ♦ Swachhta Pakhwada initiative was launched to bring a fortnight of intense focus on the issues and the practices of Swachhata by engaging the Government of India Ministries/Departments in their jurisdictions.  ♦ The Ministries/ Departments observing Swachhata Pakhwada are monitored closely with the help of the online monitoring system of Swachhata Samiksha.

    Jal Jeevan Mission to measure and monitor water supply

    49 days ago
    Jal Jeevan Mission (JJM) aims to create a smart rural water supply eco-system to measure and monitor the service delivery of the water supply in rural areas. The National JJM has constituted a Technical Expert Committee. The aim is to prepare a road map for measurement and monitoring of the water service delivery system in rural areas. The committee constitutes members from academia, administration, technology, and specialists from the water supply sector. Highlights: ♦ National Jal Jeevan Mission and Ministry of Electronics & Information Technology (MeitY) is to conduct an ICT Grand Challenge.  ♦ The ICT grand challenge is to bring an innovative, modular, and cost-effective solution to develop a ‘Smart Water Supply Measurement and Monitoring System’ to be deployed at the village level.  ♦ The ICT grand challenge will invite proposals from Indian Tech start-ups, the Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs), Indian Companies, Indian LLPs. ♦ JJM has partnered with State Governments and sector partners and started facilitating a sensor-based water supply system on a pilot basis in various villages.  ♦ Gujarat State govt. has begun navigating the sensor-based rural water supply systems in 1,000 villages spread across five districts.  ♦ Pilot projects have been started in other States. ♦ The project will ensure to minimize service delivery outage and water loss and monitor the quantity and quality on a long-term basis. 

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